USC vs. UCLA

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Porscheboy16, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Porscheboy16 macrumors member

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    #1
    I know a lot of people on MacRumors are involved in varying forms of media (film, photo,etc.), so I figured that this would be a good place to ask.


    Hello, in a few years, I may be looking to attend film school at one of these fine institutions (graduate studies). I am very interested in the entertainment industry, so I may be looking to go into a business program w/ a focus in entertainment too. Both schools have excellent Film and Business Schools (w/ UCLA MBA being better than USC's MBA). How do these two (Film) school compare? Does one school excel in certain areas? I am interested in screenwriting or production, but I still have at least another 3 yrs to decide.

    Also, how is the environment around the two schools? I have not visited LA yet (plan to though), and I have lived on the east coast my whole life.

    Thanks guys
     
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #2
    I can't give you info about the film schools, but I can tell you a bit about the universities, in case it will help.

    UCLA is a public university, part of the 10-campus University of California system, and is located in the relatively quiet area called Westwood on the west side of Los Angeles, not far from the infamously crowded San Diego Freeway. It has about 25,000 undergrads and about 11,000 grad students. The campus is hilly in places and is 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It's also a short distance from Century City, Beverly Hills, and the San Fernando Valley (in different directions).

    USC is a private university, and therefore more expensive than UCLA, although many students get scholarships. It has about 17,000 undergrads and about 16,000 grad students. The main campus, which is mostly flat, is just south of downtown Los Angeles, where overcrowded freeways intersect. Nearby is Exposition Park, where some of L.A.'s museums are. There is a separate campus for Health Sciences, also in the downtown area.

    Both schools have good academic reputations and nationally known sports programs. In most sports they are intense rivals as they battle for bragging rights within the city. I think I read that UCLA has had the most national championship sports teams of any major university. UCLA has a stellar history in basketball and volleyball; USC in football. UCLA does not have its own football stadium, so it plays in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

    The air quality and temperature are a bit better at UCLA, since Westwood is closer to the ocean breeze than downtown L.A., but I've never heard somebody say that was why they picked one over the other!

    You still need the important information: about the film schools. Good luck making up your mind.
     
  3. Porscheboy16 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Thanks for the detailed response. Does crime differ between the two areas?
     
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #4
    I don't know a lot about the subject, but my impression is that USC's film school is better. That's not to say UCLA is bad...they're both outstanding schools.
     
  5. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #5
    From the Los Angeles Police Department:
    UCLA area (LAPD West L.A. Division) crime stats (pdf)

    USC area (LAPD Southwest Division) crime stats (pdf)​
    Note that these are for the communities around the campuses, not on the campuses themselves. From the community stats, I'd conclude that the UCLA area is the safer of the two, but I don't know what the differences are on campus. There was a controversy about crime statistics a few years ago.

    This larger PDF has LAPD crime statistics for 2003 and 2004. You can compare the Southwest Division (USC's area) with the West L.A. Division (UCLA's area).

    Each university has its own campus police department. As far as crime on campus, I found this PDF about 2004 crimes on the UCLA campus, but I couldn't find an equivalent one for USC's campus.
     
  6. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Nah, the Notre Dame vs. Penn State game is going to be the big one this year. Oh, wait...

    I can't speak for the USC campus, but I know UCLA is in a very nice area. As long as you don't have to park a car on a Thursday.
     
  7. Porscheboy16 thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Vandalism? Or lack of parking?
     
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #8
    Famous graduates - directors

    USC Film School: Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, George Lucas, Jay Roach, Sam Peckinpah (click for more)

    UCLA Film School: Francis Ford Coppola, Tim Robbins, Rob Reiner, Alexander Payne, Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek (click for more)
     
  9. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Street sweeping. Or so they say. I saw an army of ticketing cops and never saw the sweeper come through.
     
  10. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #10
    Perhaps if you count the cost of parking tickets then UCLA and USC cost the same! :D

    Actually, you can park off campus and take a bus to UCLA or buy a parking permit (a "license to hunt"), so you don't need to hunt for street parking, which is almost always a losing battle anyway. Bicycles and motorized bikes are easier to park than cars. And some students live in a dorm or Greek house and walk!
     
  11. Porscheboy16 thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    It's like the Dallas Cowboys vs. the 49ers:D
     
  12. Porscheboy16 thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Thanks man! You are like an encyclopedia.
     
  13. theBB macrumors 68020

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    UCLA is located in a very upscale area of LA, so crime rate around campus is almost definitely lower compared to USC, which is located right next to some very poor and troublesome neighborhoods. However, USC spends quite a bit of money on security, so on-campus crime rate is said to be lower than UCLA. In any case, it won't take you long to figure out which areas are safer to park. If you use paid parking lots at USC instead of street parking at some unseemly parts of the area, you'll be fine.

    BTW, once you pay for parking at USC, you actually get to find loads of parking spots available unlike some other UC campuses. The area around USC seems to be getting nicer every time I visit, but still nowhere near as nice as Westwood, where UCLA is located. Nightlife is definitely more attractive around UCLA, but I don't know if that would be my main concern when trying to decide between the two. It is a 15 minute drive between the two campuses, you can always leave class and get to your favorite pub.

    UCLA's business school has a better reputation, but you might be better off comparing the exact specialty you are interested in. In grad school, better-in-general may not mean much, if the field you are interested in does not have any Prof. you would like to work with or learn from. If you manage to get accepted by both schools, I don't think you'll regret picking either one. Just make sure the school offers the program you need. For example, I haven't heard of a program that offers business school classes along with film production or screenwriting. If one of them has a well integrated version of this, while the other only tells you to take business classes on the side, then all the rest does not matter.

    BTW, a handle such as Porscheboy would go better at USC. :)
     
  14. opik macrumors member

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    #14
    Doctor Q,
    Can you tell me about the crime rate of Northridge State University? better than UCLA? and USC?
     
  15. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #15
    Assuming you mean California State University Northridge (CSUN), that area falls into LAPD's Devonshire Division:
    CSUN area (Devonshire Division) crime stats (pdf)​
    That's in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, which is generally safe and is very residential. The crimes tend to be burglary/theft more than violent crime.
     

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